· Celebrities galore at DTM show event in Munich
· Two victories and seven further podium positions for the Audi R8 LMS
· Le Mans winning Audi R18 TDI in London and Munich
Ingolstadt, – Soccer star Manuel Neuer was just one of many guests who experienced an unusual, exciting and action-packed DTM debut with Audi in Munich.
Motorsport meets soccer: Manuel Neuer from FC Bayern München visited Audi at the DTM. At Munich’s Olympic Stadium the national goalkeeper did a lap in the Audi S5 Cabriolet and gave interviews. The star who was cheered by the crowd then met factory driver Mike Rockenfeller at the Audi Fantreff. The fitting theme for a photo: an Audi A1 that advertises the Audi Cup in Munich on July 26 and 27.
Party as warm-up: On Thursday before the DTM event Audi’s partner ABT Sportsline celebrated its 115th anniversary at the fashionable restaurant “H’ugo’s”. Hans-Jürgen Abt welcomed about 440 invited guests to the party including all nine Audi factory drivers from the DTM and Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich as well as numerous other celebrities from the world of sports, show business and business. A highlight of the evening was the brief visit by FC Bayern’s star Franck Ribéry, who spontaneously dropped in to extend his best wishes shortly before midnight. A few days before, Ribéry had enjoyed a ride in the Audi A4 DTM race taxi.
Visiting ski stars: Katy Hölzl and Viktoria Rebensburg obviously enjoyed their summertime appearance at the DTM in Munich. The two giant slalom experts received personal explanations of the Audi A4 DTM by the two-time champion Timo Scheider.
Light weight is trumps: In sailing and motorsport every ounce counts. The two professional sailors Flavio Marazzi and Tim Kröger talked shop with Miguel Molina and Martin Tomczyk at the DTM paddock in Munich about the things their top-sport technical equipment have in common. Molina and Tomczyk had visited the two sailors at the Kieler Woche a few weeks ago.
Gasoline running in their veins: Mattias Ekström met John Lasseter at the DTM in Munich. The award-winning director of animated films from the United States in 2007 received the Golden Globe for the film “Cars”, among other things.
Glimpse of the future: For the DTM in Munich Audi launched initial photos and information about the future Audi A5 DTM race car. An animated film for media, guests and the public audience gave a first dynamic impression of the coupe that will be entered in the DTM from 2012 on. The film can also be watched on the internet at Audi.tv.
Summer, sun, Spain: In the middle of Munich’s Olympic Stadium TurisValencia beat the drum for the ninth DTM classification round in Valencia on October 2. Audi factory driver Miguel Molina was highly pleased to support the activity of the tourism association with a personal autograph session.
Unchanged original condition: Still covered with the original dirt film of tire pickup and brake dust the Le Mans winning Audi R18 TDI presented itself at the DTM in Munich exactly the same way it had left the track at Le Mans. In addition, the oversized Le Mans winner’s trophy, which went to Audi for the sixth time, attracted the eyes of the many fans.
Welcome on board: At the Munich Airport Center the Red Bull drivers Mattias Ekström, Miguel Molina and Martin Tomczyk signed cards and posters at an autograph session on Thursday. Afterwards they went to the Olympic Park to prepare for the DTM show event.
For body and soul: The hearty V8 roar of the Audi V8 quattro from the 1990 DTM, the 1996 Audi A4 quattro, the current Audi R8 LMS GT3 sports car and the horrendous hissing of the 500-hp Audi Sport quattro S1 rally model thrilled the fans in Munich. The historic, successful quartet did its laps at the “World of Race Cars” at the Olympic Stadium.
Victory in Italy: At the fourth round of the Italian GT Championship season Dindo Capello and Alessandro Cicognani in the Audi R8 LMS of the Audi Sport Italia team celebrated a victory in Sunday’s race. For Capello it marked the first win of the season. Previously, Capello/Cicognani had finished the first round on Saturday as the runners-up. Their team-mates Marco Bonanomi/Andrea Sonvico took two third places on the podium and defended their lead of the standings.
Two podium positions: At Le Castellet Audi-R8 LMS drivers mounted the podium twice at the fourth race weekend of the FIA GT3 Championship. Jérôme Demay from the Saintéloc Racing team had started into the first round from position 13. He made up seven places before turning the car over to his team-mate Dino Lunardi while running on position four. After a penalty for a rival the Audi duo moved up to third place. In the second race on Sunday the Belgians Greg Franchi and Enzo Ide in the Audi R8 LMS of the W Racing team secured third place.
One race, two championships: The third round of the Portuguese GT Championship was held together with the Spanish GT Championship at Estoril. César Campaniço and João Pedro Figueiredo in the Audi R8 LMS of the NovaDriver Total team won the GTS class.
Two podiums in Belgium: Ardi van der Hoek and Robbert de Graaf at the Dutch Supercar Challenge at Zolder took second place in the first round in the Audi R8 LMS. The duo from Brinkmann Motorsport finished the second round in third place.
Photo in front of parliament: Allan McNish and the Audi R18 TDI could be seen at the summer reception of the British Parliament. Siegfried Krause, Head of Procurement and Partnerships at Audi Sport, was invited as well. The Motorsport Industry Association (MIA) had extended an invitation to the summer reception at the House of Lords. Members of the House of Lords and the House of Commons, ministers and representatives of the motorsport industry met there.
Prime Minister in attendance: The eight-time Le Mans winner Tom Kristensen spent a few days in New Zealand. In Auckland he opened a new Audi Terminal together with the owner, Colin Giltrap, in the presence of Prime Minister John Key. Before the event he had been on the road with the Audi driving experience on the southern island near Queenstown at the wheel of the new A6. “An absolutely fascinating country,” said the Dane.
Expert in demand: Next weekend the FIA will rely on Tom Kristensen’s judgment yet again. At that time he will be serving as “Driver Steward” at the German Grand Prix at the Nürburgring. In that role he will be able to explain the drivers’ perspectives within the group of stewards.
A brief interview with … Edoardo Mortara
The show event in Munich was brand new in the DTM. What did you think of it?
I think we delivered a really nice event to the fans. I’m pretty happy about that. It’s important to promote one’s own sport like that. And by putting on a good show this can be accomplished in a really good way. I was particularly happy to see so many spectators in the stands and also in the whole complex. That was good fun.
If someone had told you before that you would be the Audi driver who would reach the finale on Saturday and Sunday and meet with Bruno Spengler there both times: What would you have thought?
Something like that was totally unpredictable. Actually, it’s interesting that we met twice in the finale in different conditions due to the change in format. Of course you always try to give your best as a driver. On the whole, I’m very pleased. But I’m also a bit disappointed about my excursion at the finale.
Your learning curve is steadily pointing upward. Most recently, at the Norisring, you clinched your best result of the season so far in very difficult conditions, and now a victory of the day in Munich. What may we expect at the next race?
I always try to learn. I’ve still got to gather a lot of experience. That is more important than a single result. In Munich I showed that I can do a good job and deliver performances at a high level. Naturally it would be great if we could continue this in the second half of the season.
Coming up next week
July 24 Falkenberg (S), Swedish GT Series, round 3
July 24 Fuji (J), Super Taikyu Series, round 3